The Timberwolves started the season doing a pretty good job of fighting through the rash of injuries the team was dealing with, getting off to an unexpected 5-2 start.
Since then, as more and more players were forced to miss time, and even with Kevin Love being back in the lineup, the wheels have started to come off a bit, as Minnesota has dropped its last five straight.
Some help may be on the way, however, in the form of Ricky Rubio. The point guard who wasn’t thought to be able to make it back until Christmas or beyond is making progress, and he could be back in the lineup sooner than expected, after an upcoming scheduled visit with his surgeon in Colorado this Monday.
David Kahn said he still isn’t putting a timetable on Rubio’s return, as he hasn’t done all along.
But there’s no question Rubio’s return is getting closer, maybe closer than expected, particularly if you weren’t expecting him back until Christmas or later.
He’s been working out quite vigorously on his own before games — just saw him working up a sweat shooting and doing other drills — and it’s certainly possible he could be back in a game perhaps even sometime that first week of December, or shortly thereafter..
After watching Damian Lillard and Wes Matthews torch the Wolves Friday night in Portland, they could certainly use his defense.
Amen to that last part.
In Minnesota’s last game, a 96-85 loss to the Warriors, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson torched the T’Wolves for a combined 44 points. And in the game against Denver before the one in Portland, Ty Lawson and Andre Iguodala had 18 points apiece.
But beyond the defense, Rubio brings a flair to the game that energizes his teammates and makes the game fun to play. It may seem silly, but it’s an intangible quality that is certain to help immensely once he does make it back to action.